As professional plumbers, we obviously think about stormwater drains an awful lot. But we understand that for the rest of Australia, especially after all of those warmer, drier months, you can just about forget completely about your stormwater infrastructure including drains, gutters & pipes. So when it’s just rained cats and dogs for the first time in a while – perhaps the first really big storm of winter – one of the most common questions we’re asked is how on earth you go about unblocking stormwater drains.
Some plumbers might tell you that the only sensible thing to do is … call a plumber! But we’re not like that. Here at Down Under Pipe Relining, we’re so passionate about our clients that we like to give them some free advice every now and then, so here’s our latest. Need to know how to unblock a stormwater drain all by yourself? Your wish is our command:
Firstly, let’s not play down the importance of stormwater management – which is a lot more important than simply avoiding being ankle-deep in stormwater. Let it get bad enough, and it’ll seep into your foundations, get into your ceilings, floors and walls, threaten your health and safety – and cost an absolute fortune to repair the damage & mess.
If you’re noticing the above rather than water dripping into your cup of tea in the lounge, you may just have caught that blocked stormwater drain in time. But you’ll have to deal with it quick-smart before it becomes a real problem:
In almost all cases, it’s the gunk that is backing up your drains – we’re talking dirt, sand, leaves, mud, silt and the like. Sometimes, a tree root has found its way in, but it may also have been caused by bad plumbing installation, or it could be pipe corrosion, collapse or other damage.
If you think it’s just gunk, let’s move on.
If you’re lucky, all that gunk has only recently washed into your stormwater drains and may be within physical reach. Clear it away from those entry points with your hands and see if the pooling water drains away.
If so, phew! If not, read on.
A lot of people forget that your stormwater system isn’t just about the drains – it’s also about those gutters and downpipes. Do you need to know how to go about unblocking stormwater pipes like this as well? To be sure, get your ladder out and reach into your gutters. Full of gunk? Time to pull it out, handful after handful. To do a really good job, scrub the bottom with a wire brush. Now move on to your downpipes, which you may need to remove to see if anything’s clogged within. If so, a blast from the hose can help.
Now, let’s get serious: you’re here because you found your stormwater drains blocked, so let’s get busy clearing and cleaning them out. You’ll probably need a screwdriver or another tool to get that drain cover off, and with luck, there will be plenty of muck to remove by hand. With all of those gone, clean it like you would clean anything else – with some detergent or another kind of cleaner to get rid of all the harder deposits. If you have a drain rod, great! Use it (or something similar) to go to work deeper inside the drain, and consider blasting water from your hose in there to loosen and clear the debris as you go.
As mentioned above, it’s an unfortunate fact that many stormwater drain problems are lurking much deeper within – and more complex unblocking efforts or even repairs will be the solution. For that, you really will need to give our local Sydney plumbing and drainage company a call.
Depending on the problem, we use a combination of expensive, professional plumbing tools – combined with our skills and experience, of course! – to sort just about any issue out. Your drains might need:
Sometimes, you really do need some experienced and fully-qualified drain cleaning experts to sort your blocked stormwater drain out. And at other times, it’s simply a lot easier to just call in the pros! Of course, it helps when Down Under Pipe Relining is just around the corner with our rapid response times and affordable prices, so why not give us a shout today?